International internships are an enriching way to gain hands-on industry experience.. For college students, international internships are the perfect way to get out of your comfort zone and foster success. They offer the chance to dive into your chosen field and learn from industry leaders while immersing yourself in a new culture. In this article, we’ll look at:
- How to find your perfect international internship
- How to prepare for an international internship
- How to nail your internship interview
At Intrax Global Internships, we connect college students with life-changing internship opportunities around the world. We can help you find the right internship to get your career started and build a strong global network.
Finding Your Perfect International Internship
With so many international internship opportunities out there, it can be challenging to figure out where to start. There’s so much to consider: where you want to be, what you want to do, and how long you’re willing to be away from home for, just to name a few. From summer internships to remote student internships, there are plenty of ways to gain valuable industry experience. To help you narrow down your options, we’ll focus on:
- How to research internship programs
- How the Exchange Visitor Program works
- How to work with Intrax Global Internships
Finding the right type of internship doesn’t have to be difficult! At Intrax Global Internships, our mission is to help driven college students build relationships within global companies and create strong careers. Let’s look into how to research internship programs and find the best growing companies to work for.
Research Internship Programs
No two internships are the same, so when you begin your research it's best to have a clear idea about what you are hoping to gain from your international internship experience. This will allow you to use strategy when considering an internship opportunity and get the most out of your experience abroad. When beginning your research, ask yourself the following questions:
- What kind of career experience are you looking for?
- Which industries are of interest to you?
- Where in the world would you like to visit?
Are you hoping an internship will help you to advance in your career? Or give you exposure to an industry that you’re curious about? No matter what your goal is, international internships offer a unique insight into your field of interest. The role you take on in an internship will offer you networking opportunities, cultural exchange, and crucial professional development.
A great starting point for college students is to browse available internships with Intrax Global Internships. Our extensive program information helps you make an informed decision about your next internship. We’ll connect you with leading companies and guide you through the visa process for your international internship.
Understand the Exchange Visitor Program
When researching international internships for college students, you’ll undoubtedly find lots of information about the Exchange Visitor Program (EVP). Also known as the J-1 visa program, the EVP assists international students and temporary workers in visiting the United States for the duration of their studies or employment. Common roles of J-1 visa holders include:
- Au pairs
- Exchange students
- Summer camp counselors
Your J-1 visa allows you to make the most of your time in the U.S. as you’ll have the opportunity to work, travel, and live in America for the entire duration of your internship program. Your J-1 visa sponsor will work with you to ensure your internship experience provides professional development and cultural enrichment.
At Intrax Global Internships, we assist in the application process for J-1 visas and offer sponsorship opportunities. Our pricing and eligibility tools transparently determine how much your visa process will cost. We can help you get started on your J-1 visa application and help you commence your international internship.
Working With Intrax Global Internships
A surefire way to find the right internship is with Intrax Global Internships. Our mission is to provide a lifetime of high-quality educational and work programs that connect people and cultures, inspire personal growth, and prepare individuals to succeed as global citizens.
We offer access to rewarding internship programs and resources so you can invest in your career and your future. We connect exceptional talent with rewarding internship opportunities that invest in your future and develop essential professional skills. Experience the benefits of an international student internship and achieve your professional goals with Intrax Global Internships.
Preparing for an International Internship for College Students
Now that you have a clear idea of the kind of internship you’re looking for, it’s time to prepare ahead of your application. Finding ways to immerse yourself in your field of interest is a great place to start in preparing to apply for internships. Not only does this show future employers your initiative and drive, but it also helps you to build important skills.
Let’s start by looking at how you can build a wide range of soft and hard skills to help gain practical experience that will help you become a successful candidate and exceptional intern.
Build Your Skills and Experience
A key way to become a successful internship candidate is to display skills that are related to the role you’re applying for. But how can you build these skills ahead of time? There are a number of ways that emerging talent can develop their professional skills before applying for a program. Let’s start by looking at soft skills.
Soft Skills for College Students
Soft skills are the most translatable skills you can develop when figuring out how to apply for an internship. These skills are built through daily interactions in class, part-time jobs, and social settings. Make a point to be present in your daily interactions with the people around you and learn how to develop soft skills that will benefit you in a career setting.
Some key soft skills needed in international internships for college students include:
- Active listening
- Time management
While these skills may sound simple to master, do not overestimate how useful they are. For example, being able to actively listen to instructions from your mentors in an internship minimizes the likelihood of making mistakes or missing information. Take the time to bolster your soft skills as they are the foundations for building essential hard skills that you’ll need for your career advancement.
Hard Skills for College Students
Once you have mastered a few key soft skills, it’s time to focus on more industry-focused skills. This is more specific to your career goals and the type of internship program you’re applying for. No matter if you’re looking for a STEM internship or a role as a software engineer, there are plenty of ways to develop hard skills that are relevant to your choice of industry.
Here are some ideas on how you can expand your hard skills and gain professional experience in a few different areas:
- Analysis and data: Use your time in the classroom or a part-time job to expand your knowledge of data sets, market analysis, or customer analysis. When working through assignments, build your data presentation and visualization skills by creating dynamic graphs and charts.
- Communication: Work on your college newspaper as a writer or editor, take on transcription or translation jobs, or offer to edit or proofread your classmate’s assignments. Make a point to build a portfolio of work that you’ve written and edited, or collect testimonials from people you’ve worked with.
- Programming: Showcase your knowledge of your chosen programming language. Expand your knowledge of other web and mobile development languages such as C#, Ruby, Python, and more. Build an online portfolio that interviewers can access to see your skills.
- Software: Integrate different software applications into your day-to-day task management, project management, and personal use. Create opportunities to incidentally use programs like Notion, Asana, or Google Workspace to get comfortable adapting to new software.
There are plenty of ways to build hard skills that are relevant to your industry. Get creative in how you approach tasks and consider applying strategy to how you tackle challenges.
Immerse yourself in conversations around industry best practices, learn from practicing professionals who are accessible to you, and think about ways you can get involved in your industry ahead of an internship program. You’ll quickly develop a clear idea of how to build hard skills and have an exceptional internship experience that helps you access your field of interest.
Show Your Passions and Personality
You’ve got the skills, you’ve got the experience, and now you need to showcase your passion. When you’re applying to internships, you’re competing with a number of fellow bachelor degree-educated graduates from around the world. How can your application beat the noise and be a solid reflection of your abilities?
Start by sharing your personality. Rather than solely focusing on your academic skills and accolades, make sure to show a healthy balance of your personal interests when applying for an international student internship. Mention what you like to do in your spare time, what you do for fun, or what you do to relax.
You’ll find that the things you do for fun help inform the skills needed in the role you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a communications-based internship then it would make sense to mention that you like to read in your free time. Alternatively, if you’re applying for a hospitality internship you may mention that you like to engage in culinary tourism or write for food blogs.
Don’t be afraid to add some humor or flair to your application if it provides value or personality. Remember that your application is amongst a pile of many; be sure to show your best self in order to be a stand-out candidate.
Craft a Compelling Application
Before you start your application, ensure you have everything you need to meet the internship’s application requirements. The type of internship you’re applying for may require specific information from you, including:
- A resume and cover letter
- A portfolio
- Writing samples
- Academic transcripts
- A letter of recommendation
Once you’re sure you have everything you need, then it’s time to start writing. Put your action into words to craft a compelling application. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to draft your application and address all of your relevant experience and skills. Discuss why you’re a qualified candidate and what you as an individual bring to the table.
It’s important to mention personal experiences and your interest in the internship’s occupational field throughout your application. To craft the perfect, attention-grabbing application, it’s best to be honest about:
- Your relevant experience
- What your long-term goals are
- What you hope to achieve from your internship experience
Be clear about how you plan to make the most of the internship and your enthusiasm for the role. Most importantly, let your application have time to breathe before you submit it. Give yourself a few days to draft your answers, reread them, and make any necessary edits. This way, you can ensure you’ve put your best foot forward and written a compelling application.
How To Nail Your International Internship Interview
Getting to the interview stage of your international internship is an exciting time. You have the opportunity to make a lasting impression and get to know the people you’ll potentially be working with. Use this time to learn more about the role, discuss why you’re a good fit, and express your enthusiasm for the position.
We’ll look at how you can:
- Showcase your skills and relevant experience
- Ask the right questions
- Be as interview-ready as possible
It all starts with communicating your relevant skills and experience. At Intrax Global Internships, our participants are passionate about making the world a better place through cultural understanding and increased global awareness. Understanding how your skills and experience make an impact in an international internship is essential to nailing your interview.
Showcase Your Skills and Experience
The best way to approach your interview is to be prepared. You know your skills and experience better than anyone else, so now is the time to clearly communicate them.
Consider the common questions an interviewer will ask you about your experience and your attitude toward the role. Some examples of questions your interviewer may ask include:
- Can you tell us about your previous work experience and how it relates to this internship opportunity?
- What specific skills and qualifications do you possess that make you a strong candidate for this internship?
- How do you prioritize your tasks and manage your time effectively?
- Can you describe a situation where you faced a challenge in a team project and how you overcame it?
- What are your career goals, and how do you think this internship will contribute to your professional development?
Your skills and experiences are uniquely yours, make sure that your answers are relevant to the questions and reflect your abilities in a proactive and helpful way.
Remember, you want to stand out against a worldwide candidate pool, and the best way to do that is to be yourself. Discuss your ability to successfully fill the role and what you are excited to learn from the internship experience.
Ask the Right Questions
Your interview is also a time for you to learn about what an international internship can do for you. You want to ensure that you’re gaining relevant and interesting industry experience that helps you reach your career goals.
Come up with a range of interview questions that you can use to get information about the international internship you’re applying for. Here are six examples of questions successful candidates ask in global internship interviews:
- What do you expect the person who fulfills this role to accomplish by the end of the program?
- How is success measured in this internship?
- Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with during the program?
- Would I contribute to any particular projects and how so?
- Are there opportunities to collaborate across other departments in this role?
Ahead of your interview, write down any other questions you have about the role. Ask friends who have had internship experiences about what they wish they had known before taking on their own roles so you get a broad range of ideas.
Tips for Being Interview Ready
Ahead of your internship interview, there are plenty of things you can do to be as prepared as possible. Having a printed copy of your resume on hand, ensuring your environment is quiet, and guaranteeing your technology is in working order ahead of time are all key starters.
It’s also important to show up as informed as possible about the company, the role, and the people you’ll be working with. This shows that you have a clear understanding of the role and the company you’ll be working for, and that you take the role you’re applying for seriously.
Know the Company
Dive into the history of the company that is interviewing you. Become familiar with their mission, purpose, and achievements. Not only is this information useful for you to know ahead of your interview, but it also shows the interviewers that you are proactive in your research and care about the position you’ve applied for.
The company’s values may resonate with some of your own personal values, signifying another reason why you’d be a great match for the role.
Know Who You’re Talking To
Ahead of your interview, do your best to understand the roles of the people who are interviewing you. Look at the company website and learn about their roles within the business. This will help you get a clear view of the position of your internship program within the wider company and help you to determine the most relevant experience the interviewer will be looking for.
Practice Ahead of Time
Ask friends and family to rehearse for your internship interview. This can help provide you with different perspectives on what sort of questions you may encounter. It’s also a great way to get comfortable in concisely and accurately summarizing your skills and experience.
Be sure to practice asking your own questions, answering the interviewer's questions, and keeping a personable and professional manner throughout the conversation.
Work with Intrax Global Internships to Successfully Land an International Internship
At Intrax Global Internships, we’ve assisted over twenty-five thousand interns in completing programs across the world successfully. We work with extraordinary companies and source exceptional talent. Contact us today, and discover how we can help you land your next international internship.